China as the emerging friend

Narrative

Pro-Chinese narratives revolve around the humanitarian help provided by China to Moldova. However, it is relevant to mention that pro-Chinese narrative inserts pro-Russian elements. Even though China is the provider of humanitarian aid, it is Russia that facilitated the transportation of this cargo to the Republic of Moldova. It should be noted that the pro-Chinese narratives in the region are part of China’s campaign to improve its image worldwide.

Dissemination

Pro-Chinese propaganda at the state and media level is managed by the President of the country and Pro-Russian media outlets.

Pro-Kremlin media

Sputnik.md has published a set of articles on the aid provided by China to the Republic of Moldova on the Russian airplane. The narrative mainly describes a consolidated collaboration between the countries. At the same time, pro-Russian media is a channel for the Chinese Embassy to express their messages. Thus, an article on Sputnik.md expressed the indignation of the Chinese Embassy with the fact that officials of several countries, Moldova included, affirmed that the humanitarian aid is part of the Chinese political propaganda.


Moldova, Russia and China unite their forces to fight against COVID-19
Source: Sputnik.md


The Embassy of PRC in Moldova is upset with slander from a Moldovan MP
Source: Sputnik.md


Moldova received 1500 tests from China to detect the coronavirus
Source: Sputnik.md

Pro-government media

Pro-government socialist media highlights Chinese humanitarian aid in a local manner. The mayor of the capital, Chisinau, who is also the member of the Socialist party, received help ( 5000 masks that would be distributed to medical institutions within the city) from the Chinese company Huawei – an event that has been covered by the Accent TV party-controlled outlet. They also help shape the views by promoting surveys which state that citizens consider China, EU and Russia to be the main partners of the country in the fight against coronavirus.


IMAS Survey: Citizens say that our country has been helped mostly by China, the EU and Russia against the COVID-19
Source: a-tv.md

Likewise, the official news agency of the self-proclaimed Transnistrian region promotes China’s success in fighting with coronavirus.


On the 25th of March, a book on China’s experience with fight against the COVID-19 will be launched in Russia
Source: Novostipmr.com

State actors

As can be inferred from the social media activity of the President of the Republic of Moldova, he is trying to promote Chinese help on his official social media page. His posts are usually bilingual and accompanied with impactful and suggestive images. He has regularly thanked China and the Chinese Embassy for the support provided in the fight against coronavirus.


Source: Facebook

Target group

Pro-Chinese propaganda targets both Russian and Romanian-speaking audience. It is also appealing for the Party of Socialists electorate and the pro-Russian audience, especially in the narratives that insert Russia’s contribution in facilitating the relationship between China and Moldova.

Disproof

China is one among many countries that provided considerable support to the Republic of Moldova in the fight against coronavirus. For instance, the European Union has allocated to the Republic of Moldova 87 million euros to overcome the crisis, which supplement the funds totaling 140 million euros, which were allocated by the EU to all Eastern Partnership countries in the regional assistance program.